It won’t be long now, and my son and his fiancé will be exchanging their vows. Date set. Plans made. Reservations scheduled. Wedding paraphernalia purchased. Details checked, checked and rechecked. Hours and hours invested in the getting married project.
While I have enjoyed the entire process of helping my son and his bride-to-be, it has been an incredible amount of work. Lists to make and remake, people to contact, dates to confirm, modifications to integrate, duties to execute and information to learn and discover. In the olden days, it took very little time and for sure, a lot less money to get hitched. I vividly recall that as a Baby Boomer bride, the sum total for our entire wedding event equaled $500.00. Today, it is a vast undertaking of time and resources (of multiple varieties) to get to the nitty-gritty of saying I do. 12 months of preparation for a 20-minute ceremony. The word elope kept flittering across my mind as I was using another word – tulle – to make the billionth bow for the garden ceremony. Tulle, fool, cool, drool, spool, pool, jewel – as you may have discerned, the bow-making process was getting to me! Oh, how I love words!
As I have been helping with the organization and implementation of the approaching wedding, I have also been thinking about job seekers and the similarities between wedding preparation and a career transition project. Here are some questions to consider as you embark upon your own quest for a new beginning from this day forward:
~ Do you have a reasonably good idea of the type of position you desire?
~ Do you have a strong sense of your existing skill set and what, if anything, is missing or needs some fine-tuning?
~ Do you have a thorough understanding of your product and its value to a potential employer?
~ Have you made a list of at least five of your best work-related skills and can you cite them with confidence, as well as deliver concrete examples for each skill claimed?
~ Do you know with specificity what three to five adjectives best describe you and are those particular descriptors aligned with your new target goal?
~ Have you built a vibrant network of invested partners to help you pull off a successful event of landing a new job?
~ Have you followed up with all parties involved in your career transition project to gauge their support of your efforts? Think: professional references. Think: LinkedIn recommendations. Think: résumé endorsements.
~ If hiring managers and recruiters mention their concerns about your candidacy, what concerns might be voiced? (Know your liabilities and weaknesses before you go to market).
~ Have you reviewed your career transition project to make certain that you are meeting deadlines and progressing according to schedule?
~ Have you taken time to thank all of the people who have supported your job search efforts?
~ Are you paying close attention to the details of your transition project or when the big day finally arrives, will the details (and the lack thereof) be your undoing?
~ When the job offer finally arrives, will you take some time to contemplate the proposal, or will you without hesitation give the employer an emphatic I Do?
Whether you are getting married, or getting a new job, it takes time, effort and unwavering commitment to make sure that it will indeed be one of the happiest and best days of your life.